WWC review of this study

A quasi-experimental study of Saxon’s Incremental Development Model and its effects on student achievement in first-year algebra (Unpublished doctoral dissertation).

Pierce, R. D. (1984). University of Tulsa, OK.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    162
     Students
    , grade
    9

Reviewed: April 2017

Study sample characteristics were not reported.
No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: June 2016

Algebra outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Lankton First-Year Algebra Test

Saxon Algebra I vs. Holt Algebra I

9 Months

Grade 9;
162 students

22.88

22.34

No

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Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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    Midwest

Setting

The study was conducted in a high school in the southern midwest United States.

Study sample

The school district was described as primarily White and middle or upper-middle class. Ninth graders enrolled in beginning algebra were on the average mathematics track and constituted the majority of ninth graders at the study school.

Intervention Group

Students in the intervention group received algebra instruction using Saxon Algebra I. Instruction in both conditions occurred over the course of an entire academic year during daily 55-minute math instructional blocks. Teachers organized their classroom instruction in “equivalent” ways for both the intervention and comparison sections, with respect to structure: utilizing 10–15 minutes for homework review, 10 minutes for review of the text, 15 minutes to review new material, and 15–20 minutes of work on problems due during the next class period. Class pacing was similar between the two groups; however, instructional approaches and problem set content were different based on the differential approaches of the intervention and comparison curricula. For example, students in the intervention group received ongoing review in accordance with Saxon’s Incremental Development Model.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group received instruction using Holt Algebra I, the school’s business-as-usual algebra curriculum. This curriculum followed standard mathematical pedagogy, including chapter reviews and practice problems, with problem sets and quarterly review tests.

Support for implementation

The two study teachers met with each other weekly and with the researcher monthly during the school year. The meetings were designed as an opportunity to discuss common problems encountered implementing Saxon Algebra I and share ideas about the study. Teachers agreed at the outset of the study to provide “equivalent” instruction to each study condition to maintain the integrity of the study.

 

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